Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Retweet: newspapers refer to local bloggers in riot areas, miss opportunity to add bloggers them to their teams

This is a sort of follow-up to this morning's post about bloggers and the missed opportunities many newspapers continue to experience by not co-opting local and specialty bloggers into their content teams.

This later afternoon – London time – the live blog on The Guardian's website made a reference to a blogger from Walworth, which is in south London. The live blogger for the Guardian, Matt Wells, links to and refers to the blogger's own coverage of events on Walworth Road. That blogger, blogging anonymously as Motown, who says he is "tall, dark has a son" in his profile, recounts events last night in his neighborhood and wonders why the press did not pay more attention.

As Wells writes, however, the press can not be everywhere, writing about everything. But I wonder if there might be room for more improvisation on the part of editors at newspapers such as the Guardian, to bring these bloggers into the fold, even if only on a temporary basis.

In any case, this might be the subject of conversations in many newsrooms in the near future as news organizations struggle to figure out how to cover fast moving, localized events with their smaller and obviously less nimble editorial staffs. There is, to be sure, risks in this idea of news-blogger cooperation, but it might be to consider the merits of shoveling a few bucks towards bloggers from the freelance budget in lieu of spending those dollars on more mainstream, and less relevant, news sources.

The video below, posted on YouTube, was shot on the evening of the 8th, but is not from Motown's Blog, as the blogger did not embed his own video in a way that would make it sharable - possibly to better hide his identity.